Youth Custody Report: March 2024

Youth Custody Report: March 2024 

Summary 

On 10 May 2024, HMPPS and the Youth Custody Service published the Youth Custody Report for March 2024. 

Details 

The report provides a snapshot of the population within the Youth Secure Estate in March 2024 but also includes data from 2000 onwards. 

The data shows that:

  • There has been a relatively consistent decline in the number of children and young people within the Youth Secure Estate over the last 24 years. In April 2000, there were 2610 children and young people in custody. In March 2024, there were 410. 
  • Children and young people who self-identified as white, including white monitories have consistently made up a significant proportion of the youth custody population. This is closely followed by children and young people who identified as black or having a mixed ethnicity.
  • There is consistently more male children than female children within the Youth Secure Estate. In March 2024, there were 519 male children in custody. Comparatively, there were only 11 female children.
  • The most common age of a young person in the Youth Secure Estate is 17 years old.
  • Most children and young people are placed in Young Offender Institutions.
  • There has been a decline in the number of children and young people receiving detention and training orders and sentences under s.91 and s.250. However, the number of children and young people on remand within the Youth Secure Estate has remained relatively consistent, although there has been a slight decline in the last 8 months. In March 2024, there were:
  • 212 children and young people on remand.
  • 116 children and young people on a detention and training order.
  • 108 children serving sentences under s.91/s.250
  • 94n children and young people in custody for ‘other’ reasons.
  • The most common offence for which children and young people were in the secure estate has consistently been violent offences against the person.

Commentary 

It is concerning to see that male children are disproportionately more likely to be within the Youth Secure Estate. However, It is positive that overall, there has been a dramatic decline in the number of children and young people within the secure youth estate over the last 24 years, as well as a reduction in the number of children being sentenced to Detention and Training Orders and sentences under s.91 / s.250. However, the number of children on remand has remained relatively stagnant. Many of the children and young people in contact with the criminal justice system have complex needs. A remand to Youth Detention Accommodation should be a measure of last resort, as should a period of a detention. 

For guidance on Court Bail and Remand, see the following YJLC toolkit 

Written by Sabrina Neves, Solicitor at GT Stewart Solicitors